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How often do teens get involved in fights?

Teenagers who get involved in fights can find themselves facing some serious ramifications. They could get arrested and may find themselves charged with assault, for instance. They may claim that it was just self-defense, but that doesn’t mean the charges will automatically be dropped. Even teens who were just trying to protect themselves or their friends could wind up in court.

If you’re a parent, you may be wondering how often this happens. Let’s take a look at some important statistics.

One-third of all students

Every year, reports indicate, about one-third of all high school-aged students get involved in physical confrontations. If you have three students, selected at random, you can assume that one of them will get into a physical fight in the next 12 months.

If this feels far too common to you — you know that fights happen, but you never thought 33% of students were fighting annually — just consider the vast array of factors that can contribute to this behavior. They include things like:

  • Community or school violence
  • Exposure to family violence
  • Issues like depression and impulse control
  • Lack of anger control skills
  • Parent-child conflict and poor parental monitoring
  • Negative peer norms regarding physical violence
  • Low school connectedness

As a parent, you can only influence so many of these. You can monitor your child and make sure that violence stays out of your family life, but you can’t always control who your teen’s peers are, how they feel about violence or how connected your teen is at school. If these factors lead to legal charges, be sure you know what steps to take.

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